Transistor Transistor: A Band So Nice They Named It Twice

You can’t really say New Hampshire is the mecca for any music genre. But there is one band that calls Derry, N.H. home, and they are putting their stamp on the post-hardcore scene.

Like many bands, Transistor Transistor came together in a muddled basement four years ago. The band trudged on quickly, and two years after their creation, the band hit the road with an unyielding passion.

Transistor Transistor – Nat (guitar/vocals), James (drums), Garrison (bass) and Brad (guitar) – played with such acts as Wolves, Light the Fuse and Run, Daughters, Hot Cross, Fear Before the March of Flames, Circle Takes the Square, Blood Brothers and Les Savy Sav.

The band, although in the midst of several line-up changes, signed to Level Plane Records and released their self-titled debut in 2003. Then they did a split release with The Narcs the following year.

After a European tour in early 2004, Transistor Transistor needed to reevaluate the status of their group in order to move ahead, and to utilize all they learned from their formative years. With a solid line-up, the band found themselves writing and recording a new album that will become known as Erase All Name and Likeness.

Their third release on Level Plane Records is not short on the love when it comes to loud, driving music. Transistor Transistor has flourished to be a heavier, more multifaceted and vibrant rock band proficient in writing loud rock.

I had the chance to talk with Nat during a short home stint in between tours and ask him a few questions about the band with the curious moniker.

Innocent Words: Why the name with the same word twice?
Nat: It’s a case where it just sounds better twice. There is a Rancid song called “Junkie Man” from their 1995 album And Out Come the Wolves, where Jim Carroll does a spoken word piece, and he says, “Make love to my transistor my transistor.”

IW: As a band, you have had a lot of members in such a short span. It is almost like Spinal Tap. How do you deal with overcoming adversity?

Nat: We have had [pause as Nat counts out loud] … nine people in the band over four years. One of the big things with us is we never had time to look for musicians because we have always had tours to do and needed a player within two or three weeks’ notice. So we never had the chance to sit and dwell on the future of the band because we’ve had obligations. We have friends, and we ask, “Do you want to be in the band for this tour?” Luckily they say yes, so we pack up and go.

IW: Packing and going to Europe twice – how was that playing overseas?
Nat: We have toured Europe twice, and the shows were all great. The second time was best because everyone got along and the weather was better that time. We look forward to going back again, but I don’t know if it will be anytime soon.

IW: What do you do to pass the time on the road?
Nat: I read a lot and write a lot. Some of my favorite books are Anna Karenina, Freedom Evolves; authors are Walt Whitman and Billy Collins. I love his poems; he is just amazing.

Since 2001, Transistor Transistor has been touring relentlessly and releasing various EPs demonstrating a love affair with loud and aggressive rock music. No matter what obstacles are presented to them, they keep soldiering on for the love of music, because, frankly, they don’t know any other way.